Prague, June 8 (MTI) – The European Union’s biggest challenge is that member states have dissenting visions for its future, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in Prague on Wednesday.
Europe’s migration crisis presents a good example of this challenge, Orbán said at a forum of the prime ministers of the Visegrad Four (V4) countries.
Orbán said there were generally two distinct ways member states envisioned Europe’s future. One of them says the world is on the verge of facing a massive, unavoidable migration wave, which EU member states must learn to manage. The other camp believes that the migration wave can be stopped on the EU’s borders.
Orbán and his Czech, Slovakian and Polish counterparts discussed the EU’s ongoing crises and the role the V4 can play in their resolutions.
Speaking at a press conference after the forum, Orbán said the V4 had its most difficult and most complicated year in 2015 during which the grouping however tackled all the problems it faced.
He thanked the other three member states for the assistance they provided to Hungary in tackling the migrant crisis and their support to the Hungarian government in its political disputes with Brussels.
Orbán called the Visegrad Four partnership a success story and the grouping “the engine of the EU’s economic growth.”
“Without the V4 there is no growth, but only stagnation and recession,” he said.
Slovakia’s Robert Fico said that the EU was facing the possibility of “fragmentation” rather than being ready for deeper integration.
Beata Szydlo, Poland’s prime minister, said splitting up the EU into smaller “unions” was unacceptable. “Europe needs dialogue and it must listen to each member,” she said. After the open forum, the prime ministers held a summit meeting at which the Czech Republic formally handed over the rotating presidency of the Visegrad Four cooperation to Poland to fill the post for the next one-year term.
In a joint statement issued after the summit, the four prime ministers repeated their earlier position to reject the European Union’s mandatory migrant quota, and urged better protection to the Schengen borders. A mandatory distribution of asylum seekers would further promote migration and would divide members of the EU, the statement said.
Signatories to the statement also urged that Great Britain should stay a member of the EU, and that the EU and NATO should seek closer cooperation in the interest of security in the Baltic states.
Countries in the Visegrad cooperation support Ukraine’s endeavours to create stability in the country, and urge that the EU should lift its visa requirements for Ukrainian entrants, the statement said.